If you’ve followed my personal story online via my Alice TV eps or blogs, you would know something about the catastrophic financial mess I found myself in about 15years ago. I often talk about my journey from financial chaos and denial to financial freedom in my presentations and workshops for a number of reasons.
What’s the problem?
I know what a massive impact being financially overwhelmed can have on your career and life. Oh my God, do I ever! As someone who had $185,000 worth of credit card debt to her name across two continents, I know how it feels to be in the trenches of financial confusion – when you know you have to do something drastic. I know how it affects your self-worth and well-being.
I know how the terrible stress creeps into your working life too. When I wasn’t sleeping at night because of my maxed-out credit cards and unpaid bills, I can assure you I didn’t have the bandwidth to even consider progressing my career. I could barely function. Even performing the bare basics of my job was difficult.
I also know what having financially distracted employees means for organisations. When people aren’t financially well, they aren’t as focused or as dedicated to their work. This impact on productivity can cost an organisation a lot of time and money. Organisations also need to consider health and safety concerns of their workforce. Financially disempowered employees suffer more depression and anxiety, are less satisfied in their roles, are less likely to stay in their roles and more likely to take sick or stress leave. A 2014 survey showed that absenteeism in the workplace is 43% higher for financially stressed employees.*
What is financial wellness for employees?
Financial wellness is about individuals having a strong financial foundation; feeling a strong sense of self-worth and confidence about their earning capacity, feeling satisfied with their financial situation and having healthy financial behaviours.
It’s not all about the money. When people feel financially fit and well:
- they have greater clarity and confidence,
- they are happier and more balanced
- they have greater life satisfaction
- they have lower levels of stress
- they are more satisfied in their jobs
- they are emotionally and mentally free to work towards goals and contribute their best at work and in life.
Investing in the financial wellness of employees makes good sense for organisations. When individuals are financially fit and well, they can be at their most productive, bring the best version of themselves to work, be more creative and develop and sustain stronger working relationships.
What does financial wellness mean for organisations?
When an organisation’s workforce is armed with financial clarity and confidence, individuals can work to their highest capability and contribute to an organisation’s vision and objectives.
Financial wellness of employees means great things for organisations:
- boosted morale
- improved culture
- increased productivity
- higher staff retention
- a stronger, globally competitive workforce.
What’s the solution?
Wherever someone is on their journey and whatever their financial literacy level, it’s possible to move towards greater financial confidence and freedom. In my experience, financial wellness isn’t so much about the budgeting spreadsheet (although developing a habit of tracking and earning is important), it’s more to do with self-worth and shifting fundamental money beliefs to create the right money mindset.
In my Self-Wealth work, I look at how to release money fears, shift from a scarcity to abundance mindset, and develop healthy financial behaviours and habits. I also work with individuals to increase their intrinsic self-worth and progress their career aspirations. I teach them how to ask for and negotiate for more – whether that be more money, better relationships, more senior opportunities, or greater flexibility or projects they are passionate about. I incorporate highly practical strategies and techniques, and easy-to-use tools to improve their financial wellness. Nowadays there are even amazing money-management apps. My pick is MoneyBrilliant.
Financial wellness is essential for people to really, fully live the life they want and be who they want to be. When people are financially fit and healthy, they feel valued, respected, appreciated and of worth. That’s when they step into their highest working potential. They are also able to connect to something greater and plug into a higher sense of purpose and meaning, which transforms them and those around them. For organisations, this translates into energised employees who can achieve their professional goals, be a balanced and focused part of the team and contribute to performing and innovating in the workplace. Everybody wins!
• Financial Services survey on Financial Wellness in the Australian Workplace